And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? – Lk. 12:14 KJV
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In the first part of this devotion, we discussed the need to show caution in intervening or getting involved in issues listing out questions that must be answered before taking a decision on either to intervene/get involved in any situation or not. That addresses a situation where it is at the discretion of an individual to determine whether to get involved or not.
Today’s devotion explores the situation where a request has been made pleading for intervention and who else can show us the path to take than our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ. Today’s scripture was the response of Jesus Christ to a request for intervention made by one of his followers. The follower had pleaded with Jesus Christ to help convince the brother to share the inheritance. What was not clarified here was whether this follower ever had or still had any right to the inheritance he wanted shared but he was sure about the positive influence that a comment from Jesus Christ would have on him achieving his objective of getting his brother to share the inheritance. He wanted Jesus Christ to weigh in on his behalf by putting his integrity on line.
The scripture says that Jesus Christ declined such involvement asking the question that is the foundation of today’s devotion. He, in that response identified two groups of people who in his own opinion had that responsibility and skill levels and those were the judge and the divider. He admitted by that response that he is not qualified to be any of those in that situation and by implication, he was accepting that his influence no matter how larger than life it may be, has limits if he is to remain honourable.
Christians need to accept that there is a limit to what they can get involved in and this limit is not determined by age, how long you have been in Christianity, your position in Church, your achievements in life, etc. It is firstly decided by your relevance, in terms of skill and preparation, to the issue at hand. Attempting to be everything in every situation simply because of social, religious or economic standing still remains one of the major causes of turbulence in private lives or in the peace of groups and organisations. Self respect starts from knowing and admitting personal limits as attempts to go beyond such limits will always lead to shame, disgrace and set back either for the individual or the group – Eph.4:7; Rom. 12:6.
That situation that you have found yourself, and that has stripped of good health, respect and honour and has brought you untold hardship may be the result of your not knowing or admitting the limit of your ability and may have nothing with all those people that you are blaming for your stress.
There is also a spiritual angle to the response of Jesus Christ stated in verse 15 of that same book and chapter. He advised his disciples to be aware of the act of covetousness in men. Could that also have been an additional, but this time spiritually determined reason, as to why Jesus Christ declined involvement or intervention.
Christians need to understand that for every situation, there are always interests which may never be openly expressed but remain the root cause of the situation. Whoever is to intervene must be able to hear not just what is said, but also what is not said else such interventions will be based on incomplete information. It can only produce regrets and nothing more and leave the reputation of the intervener in tatters. Like in all things, you need the direction of the Holy Spirit in determining how far you can be in involved in any issue, if you have to be involved at all.
The possibility of being given part of the share of this follower, either as donation or as group contribution meant nothing to Jesus Christ. He would not allow covetousness to ruin his reputation. One can only imagine the amount of destinies that such thought patterns has re-written or destroyed.
Just like the lessons learnt in the first part of this devotion, Christians need to remain careful in accepting requests for intervention in issues that they are not well equipped, either knowledge-wise or preparation wise, for. Christians need to seek the directive of God through the Holy Spirit in having full details of the issue and determining the extent and manner of their involvement.
I pray that God through the Holy Spirit will continue to guide us all so as to be able to know our limits in terms of what we intervene or get involved in, to grant us Grace to be able to do that which we are sufficiently equipped to do and save us from accepting other people’s problems into our lives through undue intervention or involvement in Jesus name. May God also grant us the Grace to be positive tools that will bring peace into our lives, family and our environment in Jesus name. Amen.